Yesterday we had the great plan to drive up to Barrie, run some errands then met up with my BiL for a trail ride. It was raining when we left but the weather network said <1mm after 1pm so we figured by the time we got to his place, tuned up the bikes (thanks again JP) that we still would have plenty of time for a ride. Well, we waited and waited for the rain to let up... moving on past 4pm and it was still POURING. By this time a ride was impossible as we had to get home for the dog and make dinner. As we were leaving the rain stopped. *eyeroll* Yep.
JP was amazing with his attention to our new bikes. Cleaned them up, got rid of the tacky reflectors, regripped and gave both bikes a tune-up, in addition to a quick tutorial on how to remove a tube from the bike. Bdot preferred the reverse bdot method. We managed a short visit as well. My sister is racing in Chicago.
It looks like more rain early this week too. Hmmmpt.
Bdot got a ton of useful info on SUPs which she is looking into getting. The MEC staff (Taylor) was very helpful.
It was a recovery and preparation week for camping at Bon Echo. Bdot did pretty much everything as I was restricted to not lift anything more than 15lbs. Hmmpt. Which mean you can do pretty much nothing when it comes to camping gear. We were mostly packed by Wednesday and left Thursday. As usual, we grossly overpacked, the car couldn’t fit a loaf of bread when we finally left. It was a pretty long drive to Bon Echo Provincial Park, near home for Bdot. We arrived to a massive parade of Deerflies that followed the car all the way to our site in Hardwood. This was our first visit to Bon Echo – we pretty had to take the site that was available. We weren’t aware that Hardwood is basically a separate section from the main camping area at Bon Echo. It was a long bumping drive to our site. We were oddly the only campers in our loop the first, delightfully quiet night. Now back to the bugs… good lord, the bugs… yes, of course, I expect mosquitos and deerflies when I camp. But I don’t expect them to be UNRELENTING FOR HOURS on end. We probably would have left Friday if bdot hadn’t packed the screened dining tent. It was a life saver for sure. The other craptastic thing we discovered late, was that a fire ban was in place. So no evening fires, no roasting marshmallows and no cooking over coals. That turned out to be hugely disappointing. The site itself was quite nice: Tall trees, and massive roads were strewn about with ample space for all our gear.
Friday we had an incredible day canoeing on massive Mazinaw Lake. All along one side of the lake were incredible tall cliffs (see above). Some of the cliffs had faded Indigenous pictographs which were pretty cool to see up close. After the canoe voyage, we ventured out of the park for ice. We found a great store that had all the stuff we were looking for called The Maz. Bdot is looking for a Stand Up Paddleboard and the owner answered a bazillion of her questions about them. We had a nice chat with the owner about dogs while enjoying some Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream. Black Raspberry Thunder. OMG. A great store – highly recommended if you need anything while camping at Bon Echo.
Unfortunately, as we expected, the sites around us filled in Friday night. They filled in with noisy, selfish campers. It was supposed to be a radio free zone. NOPE. It was supposed to be a fire ban. NOPE. It was supposed to quiet after 11AM. NOPE. 12? NOPE. 1AM NOPE. 2??? NO. 3!!!? Finally. Yes these drunken assholes kept me up all night long, screaming, yelling and noise noise noise. I don’t care if I sound like an old get-off-my-lawn bastard, the noise was ridiculous. Where the hell were the park patrols?? We saw them three times the night before, but when they were actual laws to enforce – nothing. That soured my opinion of Bon Echo greatly. It should be a family friendly park not a nightclub. I get having a few beers and a good time but carrying on like teenagers at Spring Break in Florida should be unacceptable at a Provincial Park. Grrr…..
We slept in late due to the lack of sleep. Saturday we spent more of the day at the main beach. There was a nice breeze so it was pretty chill. We made the mistake trying one of the trails. MY GOD. What a mistake. I don’t know why we didn’t turn around but we didn’t. We literally jogged the 1km loop attacked by mosquitos and blackflies THE ENTIRE TIME. It will henceforth be known as the 2nd worst hike ever. (Yes, Cold Creek was still worse) If that wasn’t enough, we followed the road presumably home and not the path. Well, we have no idea where the road was going but it wasn’t back to the beach. So in the baking Sun, still being bombarded non-stop by insects we were getting pretty pissed off. Fortunately, we eventually found a trail that connected us back to the beach area. By this time, however, we were spitting daggers. We contemplated another miserable night of noise and opted just to pack up and return home. There were certainly some good aspects to Bon Echo, but there was also some substantial downs as well.
I finished another Potter book while at Bon Echo. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The books continue to be enthralling.
The World Cup final was mildly disappointing. Sadly the key play was a judgment call made with VAR. I didn’t think it was conclusive either way. After the PK Croatia had to gamble and it resulted in odd man rushes against them that France capitalized on. I think Croatia played a better overall game but France was better at taking advantage of what few chances they had. Ultimately, I don’t mind the France win, it is better than a roll-around-on-the-ground nation. *cough* *Brazil* *cough* *Columbia* I was surprised Russia held such a trouble free games. I was expecting a lot of Putin-esque BS.
Ba-ZING-a should be illegal.
Watched Vietnam War: Ken Burns. Excellent documentary.
I guess I owe the blog an update! We are often away during weekends in the Summer, and this year is no exception. Two weekends ago we spent the weekend at my SiL’s cottage. It was oppressively hot, felt like upper 30s… So being near the water was wonderful. We were greeted by Black Sabbath blasting from an LP, I thought that was an exalted welcome. (We ended up listing to the whole album after we got settled…) Due to the extreme heat – most of the activities involved the boat or chilling by the lake. We enjoyed a lovely cruise navigated by Captain Liam one night, the (above) sunset was quite nice. The major outing was a boat trip to The Waubic. This included a voyage through Big Chute and its interesting lock.
It was a stupidly hot day. Once we arrived at the Waubic we were told the heat had taken out a number of their appliances (including a beer fridge – RIP) – so they were having a horrible day trying to keep up with orders. Frankly, I’m surprised they stayed open. But the staff admirably trudged through, what I’m sure, was an awful day for them. It was NOT reflected in their attitude. Remarkably, they remained welcoming and relaxed. So – in spite of the ridiculously long way for our delicious food, we didn’t complain. The World Cup was on and Flying Monkey’s were on site – so there was plenty of distraction. I would return, I was impressed by the Waubic. I thought it was neat to boat to a restaurant too. Not too surprisingly, all the Sun took its toll on me. I was wiped out by the time we returned to the cottage. I spent most of the night in bed with a headache. Sigh.
While at the cottage, I talked SNES Classic with Bdot’s BiL. Apparently the system is very hackable, with low risk… I tried it when I got home and added tons of games to the system flawlessly. I was a little disappointed initially with the games but with the hack, and the ability to add vitually any SNES game, the system is a good buy.
The rest of the weekend was spent eating, reading, swimming and relaxing. Typical cottage weekend. It was a good time.
We have a lot of gardens on our property. Seven big garden beds. Keeping them (and the lawn) watered consistently is difficult and time-consuming. We have spent a good deal of money on landscaping, plants and the exterior of the property – so in a small way – we wanted to protect our investment. So we had a sprinkler system installed last week. To attempt to keep the cost down we helped with the prep and install. I moved tons of pea gravel and we both helped with the install. *eyeroll* It saved us a measly $200 bucks, which, IMHO, was waaaaaaaaaay less than the time and effort we put into it. Nevertheless, the plants and lawns are now on a schedule and we don’t have to worry about them when we are away throughout the hot Summer days.
The big news story over the past few weeks was the rescue of the Thai Boy’s Soccer team that was trapped in a cave for over a week. In a rare instance, the World seemed to pull together and join forces to mount the rescue. Divers and resources from all over the World were brought in to save the boys. Miraculously, ALL the boys and the coach got out alive. It was an incredible story of the power of unity. It is a shame it happens so rarely. Sadly a Thai Navy Seal died during the rescue.
The World Cup is down to three team for the Cup: France, England and Croatia. England and Croatia square off today. The games have been good with the exception off all the embarrassing theatrics by some of the players. Neymar acted like such a baby the internet memed him badly. I’m hoping for a England/France final.
We are camping at Bon Echo this weekend. Sadly we just found out there is a fire ban there, so that is disappointing.
I’m such a sucker for Linux Mint. We have a long on and off relationship. We are dating again. I’ve installed 19 on the laptop. So far it is solid. Which I say every time until it isn’t….
I got snipped yesterday. That was a very unpleasant experience.
Bdot went home this weekend – so I was bacheloring it all weekend. Sadly it rained most of the weekend, so I didn’t get any hiking in. So it was a quiet weekend of World Cup and running a few errands. I finally went to EB Games to pick up a Super NES Classic. It is really small. The UI is pretty decent. I’ve only played a few games but they are fun. Strangely there is NO UI to control audio. So there doesn’t appear to be a way to escape the dreadful looping audio in the RPGs. *eyeroll*
We spent hours trying to find a way to stream video for Bdot’s parents from OneDrive on an iPad to Chromecast. We couldn’t find a way to do it. We did learn the file format works best if it is .MP4 (you can rename .MPV to .MP4). The only option was to stream file on the iPad in .MP4 format after installing OneDrive. *shrug* Better than nothing I guess.
I’ve been watching the majority of the World Cup in my Mancave. I thought I had a good setup. I’ve been using Linux Mint to stream games to a TV through Chrome. Unfortunately, it has recently been a gong show. I have streaming issues all the time. The video craps out, glitches, the screen goes black etc. etc. It is beyond annoying when watching live sports. (it is the OS – since I have the same issues in Firefox and Chromium) So regrettably, I’ve switched back to Windows 10. I continue trying to use Linux as a daily driver and it always lets me down. There is ALWAYS SOMETHING that makes me switch back. Sigh. So far, Windows is flawless.
After another disappointing effort – Poland are out. At least Germany won.
Watched Mother! this weekend. What a headtrip. More of a long allegory than a movie with a plot. Really bizarre film. Great acting. I had to google the film to understand what the hell was going on. Once the allegory is explained the movie makes a bit more sense. Likely not for everyone. I found it entertaining and confusing.
The Sabres have officially drafted Dahlin and didn’t resign Lehner – so next season is already looking up.
It looks like TFC have quit. Yesterday’s effort was embarrassing.
Steam’s Summer Sale is on! Strangely I’m not finding my games I’m interested in. Not that I’m flushed with funds anyway. When I went to EB if they didn’t have any SNES I would have converted the EB Gift Cards I had to Steam dollars. I don’t know why I didn’t think to do that earlier. I’ve had the cards since Christmas. *snort*
Bdot and I did a first ever weeknight bike ride last night. We hit a few Mountain Bike trails in Palgrave. It was quite exhilerating. There are trails in there we have never seen. It may become habit forming.
Oh Kurwa! The Poles at the World Cup:
- Own goal.
- Beat by lower ranked team.
- No call in the box, late in the game.
Poland being Poland. Sigh.
It was stupid hot this weekend. Feels like: the surface of Mars. It was over 40C. So, I pretty much would hide from the Ball of light at that temperature. But we did the opposite and found some respite in Georgian Bay. We planned a day trip to Awenda Provincial Park. The plan was to bring the bikes and hit the beach. Having bikes at a PP is awesome. If you have bikes – always – bring them to a Provincial Park. It is a bit of a drive, but when it gets so hot, you have to be near water. The bikes allowed us to park and get to the furthest beach (#4), with all our stuff: sunshade, food, chairs. We were going to go for a longer ride, but we arrived a little later than we thought we would. So we went directly to the beach. Time seemed to pass quickly, so it was a good decision to get as much chill time by the water as we could. The water was quite cold but really refreshing under the baking Sun. It was a great afternoon. It wasn’t too busy either. We’ve always wondered why PPs are always full of non-English first speakers. NOT a criticism, just a curiosity. We figure because it is affordable and easy for larger families. (Awenda has a per carload fee not per person for day use) *shrug*
Huh. Well, I guess it isn’t surprising. 45 and his repugnant Republican thugs have an appalling, viscous policy that separates parents from children entering into the U.S. illegally. The policy has been condemned worldwide and by the U.N.. 45 dopes along like a moron, finger pointing and spouting rhetoric (as usual) instead of actually doing something about it. It is a heartbreaking and sad state of affairs for the U.S. The clown and his gutless bunch of ass kissers can’t be impeached soon enough. Such an embarrassment.
Unless you are living under a bridge downtown – you know the world’s biggest sports event starts tomorrow in Russia. I’m talking about the World Cup! I’m curious to see how Russia does as a host. There have been reports of racist fans, hooliganism, and the “cleansing” of venue cities of “wild dogs”. So it will be interesting. Russia v. Saudia Arabia kick things off tomorrow. Of course, Canada didn’t make the tourney – ranked at around 80. But other, typically huge, soccer nations also didn’t make it, most notably Italy. *snicker*
My picks for the Cup.
In huge news today, the 2026 World Cup was awarded to North America! Canada will host 10 games! It also means Canada should get a slot in the Cup. (Which is also expanding the number of teams to qualify to 48…) I think Toronto may be one of the venues!
In more Soccer news, Canada will be starting its own national Premiere (professional) soccer league. The CPL. The league will start in 2019 with the following confirmed teams (more maybe added): Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Victoria and York. So that is pretty cool news as well. Canada has a looooong way to international respect in for the Men’s national team but these are some huge steps towards that… Would love to get the team in the top 25 one day…
And lastly, TFC plays tonight!
There are a lot of outcomes from tonight’s vote for Ontario Premier that I think are unsavory for the province. The Liberals (Reds) have had power for over a decade and have already conceded that they won’t get back in for another term. So it is Orange vs. Blue. Both parties I find extreme for various reasons. So I care less which party gets in – but that that have limited power – to muck up the province. Give me a minority government, any colour. That said, have Ford as Premier would be embarrassing like Tr*mp is for the U.S. but not that vitriolic divisive extreme because it really isn’t humanly possible.
Caps can win the Cup tonight. Hoping for Ovi!
Barf. Well, the archaic undemocratic first-past-the-post system strikes again. With only 40% of the popular vote, the Tories get a MAJORITY government. As has been political tradition forever in Ontario, the winning Premier speaks AFTER the outgoing Premier’s concession speech. Oh no… F*rd started his speech as Wynne was speaking. First act as Premier and already proving he is clueless and disrespectful. We better get used to it. There will be four years of asshattery, lies and stonewalling. Say what you will about Wynne, but she led the province to a lot of prosperity. She stepped down as Liberal leader today. Sure, it was time, but she does deserve some respect.
Oh and this happened. 🙂
Recently, I watched an interview/concert with Emma Ruth Rundle. In it, she mentions her interest in anime and mentioned a few titles. I checked out one she enjoyed called Tekkon Kinkurito. The anime I have watched used a different, cleaner style for people, so the exaggerated style was strange at first, but ultimately won me over. The settings, backgrounds, incredible use of colour was some of the best I’ve seen. Overall, the story was good and characters intersting, especially Black, White and the cops. Impressive and enjoyable stuff.
I don’t often share stuff like this, but sometimes I like to acknowledge how lucky I’m. I was fortunate enough to find someone who loves me. I hope you can too. Whomever it may be.
Well… it is the 3rd anniversary of my Dad’s passing. A very somber milestone. I do think about him a lot. There are situations that occur all the time when you wish he was still around to talk to. I did have a long talk with my Mom yesterday. I’m happy to see her so busy and active.
Our backyard is coming to life and is full of colour. It is a ton of work to maintain, but wow, it is a really inviting space when everything is blooming.
Caps are one game away from winning the Cup! I’m pulling for Ovi.
Ugh. So I made the mistake of watching the final debate for Ontario Premiere. First off, whose stupid idea was it to have these blabbermouths have an open debate? So they could all talk over each other, fearmonger, and you can hear nothing? Stupid. Ford was unimpressive. A few catch lines and zingers he repeated ad nauseam but had nearly no substance and no platform. WTF are clowns clapping about? You so easily impressed by his rhetoric? Wait until he takes all your services away. You won’t be laughing then. I was primarily interested in seeing Horvath. And she also didn’t impress. Sure, beside a buffoon like Ford she seems mildly credible but only marginally. Shockingly, or surprisingly, Wynne seemed the most polished. She was patient and had smart answers to questions. Plans, not bluster. But she is also dragging the anchor of her past performance and failures. So wow. Good luck Ontario. A big bunch of ‘don’t want’ to vote for. Sigh. Once again, might have to vote for the least worst candidate.
Last weekend we drove up to Hardwood Hills to test drive a bike and hit some trails. Well, it started off quite poorly. We signed up for a guided tour on some beginner trails. We were looking forward to getting a bit of instruction and some easy routes, as we have never ridden in Hardwood before. We met up with the group, started the ride, first hill… change gears… CHANGE GEARS?!….UGH… it wouldn’t change, at all. The bike was locked in a high gear, making it useless for climbing. Soooooo, I took it back to the very helpful bike mechanic I rented from. He checked it over. The former renter did a number on it. I noticed when I first got the bike that a bunch of wood chips were stuck in the chain and gears, we guess the former ride hit a tree, damaged the bike and didn’t report it. Thanks buddy! So, the mechanic setup me with a new Cannondale Cujo and off we went. I didn’t have any other bike issues. I’ve only really ridden a 20 year old, shockless, touring Trek for most my life, so a bike with shocks and massive tires was eye-opening. It felt like driving a tank surrounded by balloons. It would go over anything. Trail riding was fun. (Incidentally, accurately, the trail was named “Fun”) We did two loops then met up with my BiL who was actually racing that day. We asked him how he thought he did, he said, oh 10 top I think. Later as the winners were announced and heading to the podium, he was caught unprepared for his 2nd place finish! (Congrats JP!) We did another short “cool down” lap with JP then left Hardwood. It was a great afternoon there. We will certainly be back.
Bdot has enjoyed the Kona she got at Bike Zone and wants to continue riding. If I was to have any hope in keeping up with her, I was going to need a new bike. The consensus from Bike Zone staff and our bike consultant JP was that the Kona Kuana was the best bike available for our price point. So yes… we have now have matching bikes. We will differentiate them with grips and water carriers. It didn’t make sense to get an inferior bike just so they were different looking. As I mentioned before, coming from the old Trek, the Kona feels like a massive upgrade, because it is. I look forward to more mountain biking!
All that biking made us really hungry! We did sushi at Akira. It was good – we all ate our fill and then some. It was great to see JP and my sister.
A while ago we overseeding the lawn. That was a big job. The bigger job is trying to keep the seed moist so it will germinate. SO MUCH WATERING. Dragging the hose to the front yard, to the backyard, to the side yard, water on, water off, watch the plants! … it is a horribly painful task. We are seeing some progress, however. The front yard (which has more shade) has a fair bit of new grass growing. The rest of the yard is hit and miss in spite of our best efforts.
Years ago I played WOW fairly regularly. But over time I was able to justify the monthly cost less and less and eventually canceled the account. Periodically, I miss wandering in an MMORPG universe. Recently I came across a list of the top MMORPGs. So, I decided to try a few out. One stuck: Lord of the Rings Online. It was familiar. I think I tried it years ago and didn’t like it. Looking at the now, it is easy to say the opening area is a poor introduction to the game. The rest of the realm is much nicer looking. The UI is still a bit clunky but it is really fun to play and it’s FREE! (Although you are brought to the BUY upgrades screen an awful lot…which will cost you real cashola)
So my bank got hacked. Thousands (90k! according to an MP in Question Period) of accounts are compromised. I’m not sure if I’m one or not. I’ve changed my password just in case. The hackers called the bank (who didn’t know they were hacked) that they were. And I’m trusting these people with my money…?!
It is Golden Knights vs. Capitals for the Cup. I’m pulling for Ovi but the Knights are up a game.
Great to see Rosanne said something racist and ABC canceled her show. A candlelight of hope in a nation wandering in divisive darkness.
ABC canceled Roseanne’s show over a racist tweet. Her feed has been full of racism and conspiracy theories for a decade. https://t.co/qL3iYUI7s9
— Vox (@voxdotcom) May 29, 2018
We spent most of Friday afternoon top dressing the lawn with dirt and seed. What an exhausting day. I think I hit close to 23k steps. I sure hope it helps the lawn.
It was a rainy weekend so checked out a few movies. First was Avengers: Infinity War. We arrived late so ended up in the necked breaking front row (which sucked)… It was an incredibly entertaining, well produced special effects extravaganza. It had some good laughs too. However, it is hard to really discuss the movie without spoilers. But wow, what an ending. Consequences all over the place for future films…
A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth. And you will know the debt is paid. Theon Greyjoy: You should be proud in your brother’s achievements. -Tyrion Lannister
I also came across a video with an intriguing list of dark movies on Netflix. I’ve already seen a few of them but watched The Wailing over two nights (it is around 3hrs). What a film! It is Korean subtitled in English and may be the best thriller/horror movie I have seen. Ignore the first 30-45m which are silly, the last two hours are completely gripping and powerful. (Almost unrelated to the beginning tone of the film) Brilliant acting, a very moving plot and often beautifully shot. (One review also recommended Chaser and The Yellow Sea – which I have not seen. All three films directed by Hong-jin Na.
Canada played their semifinal game versus the Swiss today. Despite outshooting and outplaying the Swiss for most of the game… the Canadians couldn’t get enough pucks past the Swiss goalie and lost. They will play the is tomorrow for bronze. It was pretty disheartening. I mean Canada outshot them 18-1 in the 3rd. In the NHL – both teams I’m cheering for are losing… Jets and Caps are both facing elimination. Sigh. I was hoping Ovi would get a shot at the Cup, it isn’t looking promising. (Update: Jets are out, Caps force game 7!)
Barb was recommended a Shawarma place (La Shawarma) in Bolton. We tried it tonight and it was really good! So another good option for eats in the area!
It was a busy long weekend. Sunday we drove up to Barrie. Bdot is interested in pursuing a new interest, mountain biking! So we contacted my BiL since he is very knowledgeable in the area. He had all sorts of great info and recommendations for what bikes to look at. We stopped at BikeZone in Barrie. It is a huge store with all your biking needs. My BiL recommended two bikes in her price range. She took both for a spin around the building and decided on the Kona Kahuna. I’m still riding my (???) 15-year-old bike, so to me, it rides like a Cadillac. After the bike was sorted out we took the dog for a short walk.
There were trilliums everywhere! Afterward, we ventured over to my BiL’s house. I haven’t been there in a while. Since my last visit, they have renoed most of the main floor completely. It is unrecognizable now. It is all open concept. It felt like walking into a new downtown condo. I think they picked colours and textures (etc.) quite well. It is very sharp looking, even if it is overrun by cats. Since we had the dog and no bike carrier, my BiL was kind enough to bring Bdot’s new bike down in his truck. We BBQed and enjoyed dinner and a few beers from Redline Brewhouse. Check Engine and Block Heater were quite good. We had a good visit with him while my Sister was off in B.C. biking herself.
Yesterday, of course, we had to test drive the bike. We found a curious assortment of single and double track trails in Palgrave Forest. It was grueling but great exercise. I don’t think I’ve biked that tough a trail before. In the evening we had a visit from bdot’s sister and family. They took the rest of our massive pile of dirt. The nephews splashed about in the hottub.
Our thoughts are with bdot’s Dad who is undergoing surgery today. I hope for smooth sailing and a quick recovery.